I’m interested in buying a franchise, but there are only a few franchisees nearby that I can talk to. Why is it so important to speak to lots?

The best source of information about your chosen brand is going to come from existing franchisees.

This is for two reasons, some franchisors will often sell you the best case scenario and can make promises they’re not able to keep in order to get your signature on the franchise agreement and money in their bank account. Secondly, franchisees can sometimes be cagey about how much information they give to you.

This means that the more you speak to, the bigger the picture you can piece together. So while one may not be too keen to discuss their turnover in the initial months, for example, another might give you blow by blow numbers.

If there are only a few franchisees in your area you need to consider why. Is it part of their territory agreement with the franchisor? Is the brand new to the area? Or is there a more worrying factor that hasn’t been revealed to you – like incorrect demographics?

Even if there aren’t many franchisees in your area, get a contact list from your franchisor and make a point of calling them to set up a time they can speak to you (without the franchisor present) so they can talk freely about the reality of running that brand.

Franchise Zone
About the Author
Franchise Zone is published by Entrepreneur Media SA. It offers advice and franchising opportunities in South Africa.

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